Dermatologists Can Diagnose and Treat a Wide Range of Skin Issues

Dermatologists are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of skin issues. They can even spot warning signs for serious health problems like diabetes (a condition called acanthosis nigricans shows up first on the skin as brown spots).


Before seeing a dermatologist, write down your questions and check with your insurance provider to find out what’s covered. Also, consider bringing someone to take notes and be an extra set of eyes. Visit to learn more.

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles under the skin become clogged with sebum–oil that helps keep your skin healthy and protected–and dead skin cells. This causes blemishes to form, most commonly on the face, chest, and shoulders. Acne can lead to scarring, and it is a common cause of emotional distress. A dermatologist can help control acne and reduce its psychological effects.

Some people develop mild acne that goes away on its own, but others suffer from more severe forms of the disease that require medical treatment to prevent long-term damage. Acne can also lead to depression, anxiety, and self-esteem issues, especially in teens who may be bullied at school for having bad skin. A recent study published in the journal “Psychiatry” found that even mild acne can have a negative psychosocial impact on young people.

A dermatologist can diagnose acne by conducting a skin examination in his office. He may recommend over-the-counter or prescription treatments to help clear up the blemishes. In addition, he can offer advice on good hygiene practices that will promote healthy skin. For example, he can suggest using cleansers that contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to kill bacteria and remove excess oil that can trigger acne.

There are many factors that contribute to acne, including genetics, diet, and stress. A dermatologist can assess your or your child’s health history and lifestyle to determine what may be causing it. For example, some people with acne have a health condition called polycystic ovary syndrome that can cause excessive androgen production. In other cases, poor hygiene practices can cause too much oil on the scalp and skin. Certain medications can also cause acne, including birth control pills, steroids, anticancer drugs, and some antibiotics.

People with acne often feel angry, frustrated, or depressed because they can’t seem to get their blemishes under control. It can be discouraging to use effective treatments and see no results. A dermatologist can refer you to a mental-health professional for therapy sessions or medication that can lower overall stress and improve your mood.


Pimples occur when the hair follicles in your skin become clogged with oil, dead skin cells and bacteria. Acne is the most common skin condition, and it affects almost everyone. It usually appears during puberty, and it is more likely to happen around the face and neck, shoulders, back or chest because there are many glands that produce oil (sebaceous glands) in these areas. Pimples can be a serious issue because they can cause permanent scars. They can also make you feel self-conscious and less confident. If you are having regular or severe acne breakouts, it’s a good idea to talk to a dermatologist.

The most common type of pimple is a blackhead, which are small, dark bumps that develop on the surface of your skin. The color comes from oxidation of the oil in your skin, not dirt or other external factors. Blackheads often get infected and irritated, leading to inflammation and redness. They are often painful, and they may lead to scars if not treated properly.

There are several types of acne lesions, including papules, pus-filled pimples and cysts or nodules. Acne papules look like small, raised, pink or red bumps and can be tender to the touch. They usually do not have an opening, but they can be filled with pus or scabbed over. Nodules are large, solid, painful lesions that grow beneath the skin’s surface. Cysts, or cystic acne, are large, painful and infected lumps that form deep under the skin’s surface.

Some people are more prone to getting pimples than others. There are many possible reasons for this, including hormone changes and genetics. Changing your diet and using gentle skin care products can help decrease the number of breakouts you have. Avoid skin care and makeup products that contain oil, and wash your face daily with an oil-free cleanser. If you have sensitive skin, try a mild cleanser or one that is labeled as noncomedogenic.

You can also use over-the-counter (OTC) medications to treat your pimples, such as salicylic acid, which helps prevent clogged pores by dissolving dead skin cells. You can also use a warm compress to increase blood flow and speed up the healing process.

Skin Cancer

A dermatologist can diagnose and treat conditions of the skin, hair, and nails. Their work can have a profound impact on people’s lives, ranging from treating a child’s prominent birthmark that threatens his eyesight to removing a deadly melanoma in its early and most treatable stage.

As the body’s largest organ, our skin carries out many important functions. It protects us from germs, repels water, and covers our blood vessels, nerves, and organs. Because of this, it’s essential to take care of our skin by regularly examining it for changes or new growths. If a growth or spot seems to be getting larger, changing color or shape, bleeding or itching, or hurting, you should see a dermatologist right away.

If you find a spot that looks suspicious, your doctor will most likely recommend a full-body skin check with a tool called a dermoscope to examine the area more closely. This is also an opportunity for the doctor to perform a biopsy on the growth to determine whether it’s benign or cancerous.

The biopsy will be sent to a lab for testing and the results will be available in a few days. If the dermatologist finds that a tumor is cancerous, they will remove it with precision and may include a little bit of normal skin around it. This allows for the most effective treatment possible.

Skin cancer is a common illness that can affect any part of the body. It occurs when skin cells grow at a faster rate than normal and can lead to the formation of noncancerous (benign) or cancerous tumors that can spread throughout the body. When caught and treated in the earliest stages, most skin cancers can be completely cured.

Performing regular self-examinations and making yearly appointments with your dermatologist can help you catch and treat cancers early. To help reduce your risk of skin cancer, avoid tanning beds and direct sun exposure, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you do go outside, wear a broad-brimmed hat and apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher both before and during outdoor activities, and reapply it often.

Skin Conditions

Your skin is your body’s biggest organ, and it protects you from harmful toxins and viruses. But it can also develop different conditions that can affect your appearance, comfort and health. Some are minor, while others are serious and can signal a larger health issue. If you notice a change in your skin, it’s important to see a board-certified dermatologist. You can find one by using the AAD’s Find a Dermatologist tool.

Many skin disorders can make you feel self-conscious, which can affect your mood and relationships. Some of these include eczema, psoriasis and rosacea, which can lead to dry or flaky skin; hemangiomas, red, fluid-filled bumps that usually appear on the neck, head or face; and impetigo, infections caused by staphylococcus bacteria that create itchy, pus-filled blisters. Some are more likely to develop during specific times of your life, such as melasma in pregnant women or Raynaud’s phenomenon, which causes reduced blood flow to the fingers and toes, causing them to be cold or numb.

Some skin conditions can be more difficult to live with than others. For example, psoriasis can be very itchy and may lead to a loss of sleep. It can also affect your self-esteem and quality of life, especially if you have mild to moderate disease. In one study, patients with psoriasis reported lower perceived social support than those without the condition. The researchers found this could be partly due to the visible anatomical localization of the condition on their body, which may make it more noticeable.

Some skin conditions can be prevented, such as avoiding over-exposure to the sun and wearing protective clothing. You can also keep your skin healthy by drinking plenty of water and eating a balanced diet and getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night. In addition, you should avoid sharing utensils or personal items, and wash your hands frequently with soap to avoid infection. Some skin diseases can’t be prevented, including genetic or autoimmune conditions like alopecia areata and vitiligo. However, certain treatments can help reduce symptoms, such as steroid creams or phototherapy.